Adventures in Philosophy

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THE DIVISIONS OF PHILOSOPHY

Introduction & Directory

How philosophy is to be divided into sub-disciplines has seemed to fascinate philosophers throughout its history. Four different approaches to the divisioning of philosophy are given as diagrams below:

In general, the following non-technical definitions will apply:

  • Ontology: The philosophic science of the nature of being "in general"
  • Epistemology: The philosophic science dealing with the problem of knowledge
  • Psychology: Really "rational" or "philosophical" psychology, dealing with man as a "being"
  • Theodicy: The philosophic science of God, First Cause, Creator - sometimes "natural theology"
  • Logic: The philosophic science of correct thinking
  • Ethics: The philosophic science dealing with human acts - sometimes "moral philosophy"
  • Politics: The philosophic science of man's social end, including the form of state organization
  • Axiology: The philosophic science which studies the general nature of "value"
  • Aesthetics: The philosophic science which studies art, beauty, artistic value

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Introduction & Directory


The Aristotelian Division

Implicit in the writings of Aristotle.

Propaedeutic or Introductory

Logic

Speculative Philosophy

Physics
Mathematics
Metaphysics

Practical Philosophy

Ethics
Politics

Poetical Philosophy

Art


The Thomistic Division

Implicit in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Propaedeutic

Logic

Speculative Philosophy

Philosophy of Nature

Cosmology
Psychology

Philosophy of Mathematics

Philosophy of Being

Ontology
Natural Theology

Practical Philosophy

Philosophy of Art

Philosophy of Morals

Ethics
Political Philosophy


The Wolffian Division

Wolff (1679-1754) was a disciple of Leibniz and stressed the ontological aspects of the philosophy of nature.
Some realistic philosophers prefer to follow him on this point.

Metaphysics

General

Special

Ontology
Psychology
Cosmology
Theodicy

Normative Sciences

Logic

Ethics

General
Special

Aesthetics


A Modern Revision of the Divisions of Philosophy

by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D.

Descriptive Philosophy

Metaphysics

Ontology

Psychology

Cosmology

Theodicy

Criteriology

Logic

Epistemology

Normative Philosophy

Axiology

Ethics

Individual

Social

Special

Medical
Scientific
Legal
Business

Politics

Aesthetics

Applied Philosophy

As applied to Disciplines and Knowledge

Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of History
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Mathematics
Philosophy of Education

As applied to Institutions and Individuals

Philosophical Consulting for Institutions
Philosophical Counseling for Individuals


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Introduction & Directory



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